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PAINTING AND TERRAIN MAKING

Trees

Don't play Russia or America if you don't like to make trees. Desert and naval ;)

Rivers/ streams

If you ever have a big table, you suddenly discover that you need dozens of meter! of stream; potentially.

Abattis

A defensive feature from Romans to  the advent of barbed wire. 

Practical stuff and table making.

Gardens and villages

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To get this...

Unless playing naval, urban warfare, or deserts, you will need trees, woods and forests. With 6, maybe  10mm  figs and smaller (!!) you can get away with lichens and clusters of Woodland scenics.

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TREE FACTORY

two methods:
1  HOLE 
with those which have a decent tail to plug in. Cut it to size then pierce a hole in hard card/ plasticard/ MDf if you have the tools.

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2 PIN

Force the cut trunk (only works if wide enough) on a pin with a flat back, then stick the pin on its support.
My single trees are on MDF bases or were on  old coins.

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Assembly line.

From these Ebay Chinese sellers. Unbeatable prices. 
or this one

This 
uk shop 
has great quality and service, to add variety.

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GROUND 1

Paint the ground in brownish colours. It will be partly covered with earth and stuff.
Edges in dark brown.

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GROUND 2

I use on all bases (figures and terrain) a thick, irregular layer of ceiling cement (can be any thickish water based).

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SPREADING

Spread on it thin earth, little stones, twigs and anything that would make sense.
The earth will tint the cement.

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MORE SPREADING

Underbrush can go if light. Otherwise best stuck with proper cement. mix for variety. Woodland Scenics products invaluable for that.

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Shown in progress. the edges will be at the end to mask any mishap.
Hand paint various shades and spray some trees to add variety.

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Stuck bushes, cement/ paste spreading.

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A multiple base done.
if you play with large woods (think America or Russia?) to save time setting up, multiple bases!

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A table with a few woods, and abattis.

To see bigger pics, right click "view picture"

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ABATTIS

From Osprey book on ACW field fortification...
this stuff the branches with pointy ends to stop the assailant for a while, close by while you are giving him the good news.
Around field fortifications or by itseflf to deny faster movement in wodden areas. 

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Prototype

Made from twigs stuck on a piece of felt. not easy in 15/18mm , nature prefers 28mm it seems. A lot of efforts and then look, we need several meters of them!     Will be taken in picture to multiply!
Might try to sacrifice some Chinese trees to have amore branchy look.

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3 differents then...

I realized the need far outstretched my ability to produce and the time to just find the material! Also be  fragile and hellish to store. 
So I compromised in taking pictures of them to multiply and ease to store printed on card. Might stick a few things on to give it more 3D appearance. 

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RIVERS

I have nice commercial rivers but they need bushy banks to diminish the fact that the thing is rather high for the  15-10mm figures. A canal?

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Cheap+++

The basic material I use for these rivers and lakes and marshes that are level with the surroundings's terrain: blue or green plastic holders that can (increasingly hard) be found in supermarkets. And a gloss gel for paints, .

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Chain production

Cut in shape dozens of length, beware to have the proper same section for connecting. best to keep on the side the "master" sized connector to compare. Actually little discrepancies can be hidden by offsetting the connection to an angle.

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Spread and more spreading

I don't cover the plastic but put little waves on it keeping in mind where I want the current flowing.
The gel idea came from him.

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Fast and easy

Dozens of length, connecting rivers, different sizes, all is possible. You spread the gel, and next day it is dry.

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Yes I have a big table

One of the beauty of it, if you don't paint the sides, any bit can connect into any other. It starts whitish but dries transparent. Meters and meters of it....

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Not just rivers

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But...

I can see this from my workshop seat...And whatever the sky, it obstinately never wants to be blue. Maybe one day I will find grey plastic.
If you want to add, tiny touches of white to the waves, by drybrushing, can make it a faster sream. Gloss varnish can be added too.

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All for this

With or without bushes and poplars on the sides here it goes. It needs be stored flat, nicely, not to be bent. 
I experimented in painting underneath to add depth effects. Found out it was trouble for very little. This river can also fit any terrain underneath, arid or green.

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One basement is now usable to store not too fragile things. It has polystyrene rough terrain, wrapped for historical battles, some of the minis piles etc. The digging unveiled a box of assorted trees, among other things.  spt 2020

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Bits left from the polystyrene cuttings, reshaped and stuck for some stability of the sides on (a bit too flimsy) cardboard from muesli boxes. Left the first step with low trees stuck in. Then with think cement I use for bases to finish the sides.

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The finished product. They are intended to be chaotic hedges you find on sides of fields. It ended up they are a bit higher than intended, so more bocage like. When the terrain calls for very difficult stuff they will do nicely. Have to do lower and sparse length. 

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You never have enough trees..

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Especially when you found this...

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Simple way, as i have no glue gun, the hardest part is the stick them. A bit of paint here and there to add variety to the Chinese cheap trees.

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Heavy card,  dig a hole...

...plug and cement a tree.  several, put some bits of branches and real tree twigs, stones, earth flocks and hop.. a forest is born.

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Trial using a real rock to a hill.

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Sides cut with the heat cutter, painted and the home earth paint from a special 1 L pot mix at the store. Then white glue, spread various grassy things, a bit of spray of mix of white glue and water to seal.

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Some needed little hills for my Borodino mat from Russia which  does not like things underneath. Colours to match if possible.

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A relatively long wooden bridge. I need a flat wider river for it and fences from
https://www.thingsfromthebasement.com/store/c25/15mm.html
thin mdf, beautiful, but to be careful as fragile.      I will get their Mediterranean village .
Got a few Russian and USA buildings to make too. assembly is fine, he has pdf tutorials for them!

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A little complain though, some of the fences have a base that do not go the whole length of it, making a silly looking part elevated ground. They have to be stuck on something, the base evened and then finished up with earth, grass  and tufts.

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The bridge done. 1 hour or so in 4 segments over 3 days (to allow drying). The slopes are covered with real earth! This thing can be used from Romans till maybe even nowadays.

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Should I?

hesitating on getting a second one and making it as half destroyed/ burnt...
and a few painted balsa planks that could be put over the gap for a temp repair...

Kind of Ebelsberg...
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GARDENS FOR VILLAGES

Back last century in that wonderful mag. Wargames Illustrated, one made villages with neat gardens around explaining g that they allow for troops to be put in, no along walls or even worse ajar on roof to say they are in the built up area..

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3D or 2D?

I have a few thick (for strength) nicely done garden bases from 
Timecast. shortcomings:
they can be pricey in the end, I need a lot then you cannot put the same one 20 times!
Thickness means a reasonable wall or fence around to hide it. But it ends being not so multi use with closed fencing.

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2D....

But of course you can stick stuff on them to make them different. Make your own with real earth like I do the bases, tiny bushes etc. One can find tutos for this . 
BUT, I want my  figures on/ in these gardens, and they can look awkward again standing on 3D stuff, or destroy it in the long run.
So 2D. (also easy to store)

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Downloaded or created.

I used this initially to print.

You don't need to have a back ache in the gardens. But we did, and bought Chinese plasters to stick behind. Once used, these pieces of material proved to be rather strong and I saved them; some used for repairs and others...as they are already sticky, to support my paper printed fields.

Printer, scissors, common glue and pastels...

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3 steps

Print them, you can fiddle with them on the computer too.. Stick them to the supports. The first ones were on pieces of morning cereal boxes. 
Then I use pastels to finish up.

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upgrade

Pastels are not vivid, they can be smudged a bit with the fingers. I use them to add bits of browns, darker green. Finish up the sides, cut in semi irregular shapes. Small zones as I have a compressed scale for my battles,.

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earth...

also common are zones where nothing prepared grow, especially in old times, or prepared for future sowing.
white glue and earth or (like here) earth and a bit of mix stones and green. This is the recycled box from troops basing..

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Done

You can add bushes flower beds 33D  things on the sides. On others I will.
I might make enclosed bases (I have a couple) to stick to houses. faster to install but less modular. Her for 15mm.

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Small...

Finally started the same for my 10 mm, here with their 6 mm houses. Need...40?
I took pics of real gardens from above last year and worked them up, soon will print them too. 

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Close up 

This was very fast, a bit more care, using real earth on the sides maybe but it will show more the 2D of the plants which should be higher!
Here with one earth zone. I think it could also be printed on cloth to make fields....

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Pastels to draw on cloth or felt. Not too vivid way to make fields, tracks and more.  I found I could not use them on the back of commercial mats as they get some tint through. Might still do a winterized terrain that way.

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Do make your thinking before though and mark/ rest with chalk as pastels never get erased totally in case of error...

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Always hesitating between the eye display and the table scale. Even more as  if Napo and 1870 are roughly  1 cm to 40+ m, XVIIth and XVIIth plus acw etc. are more to 1cm to 10-20m. So pleasing average fields, obviously way too big in scale for 1 cm for 40.

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Bought at Lidl cheap 10€ this glue pistol. Finally entering the modern world of sticking things; and it worked wonders..
Maybe I discovered warm water for many..;)

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Destroyed paint stand and other bits from MDF holders of houses etc. recycled, cut a bit for shapes, emplacements of trees scratched for adherence as instructed....

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This thing is fast. Did these forest in 5 hours, 4 in one day in two goes, one the next to finish up the spots that escaped and shake, spray the PVA to seal.

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After the trees I stuck bushes, wood twigs furnished by Nature from walks, and rocks. PVA glue a bit diluted with a big brush and spreading over it mix of turf, earth and little stones; remnants of basing etc. 

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These forest bases speed up set up; are a bit crowded and not so figure friendly, especially any big base formed units..

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But I have  plenty of single trees to replace these in case of needed space. they do look much better than many of my older ones. Also here the first of future series of  trees without leaves to do dead ones, or winter etc.
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